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  1. 1. Creating Effective Content Mark Comerford Created with help from my digital network where many of the better ideas came from: thanks
  2. 2. • Conventional Wisdom • It is not your friend – Its conventional – Is it wise? • Question everything you do
  3. 3. Creating Effective Content • Its not just what you say • its also – how you say it • When someone decides to share their thoughts and ideas in a transparent manner, they become a teacher to those who are observing. Social technology - such as Twitter, blogs, Facebook - opens the door to sharing the process of learning, not only the final product. – When you say it – Who you say it with/to/for/at
  4. 4. Creating Effective Content Define your user base • Here there are two categories: – Your target audiences {want/need} – your actual audiences {have} [see “crunch the numbers” below]. • There will in all probability be a number of differing audiences particularly within your target audiences. This will involve segmenting and day parting
  5. 5. Creating Effective Content Analyze the market Who are the competition? • Here it is important to understand that the competition is not another news organization. It is anyone who produces the kind of content you wish to spread. This could mean everything from government agencies to NGO:s to individual and community blogs and microblogs. • What do you bring to the area that is not already there? • Can you be an aggregator?
  6. 6. Creating Effective Content segmenting • Segmenting is the process of dividing the market into areas based on collaborators (used to be customers/clients)characteristics and needs. • The main activity segmenting consists of four sub activities. These are: – 1. determining who the actual and potential groups are – 2. identifying segments – 3. analyzing the intensity of competitors in the market – 4. selecting the attractive segments.
  7. 7. Creating Effective Content • day parting • the practice of dividing the day into several parts, during each of which a different type of content appropriate for that time is aired. Content is most often geared toward a particular demographic, and what the target audience typically engages in at that time.
  8. 8. Creating Effective Content Map their media situation • In this case you are particularly interested in the levels of access to technology. • Again there are two categories: – Their present level of access – their planned levels. • You need to plan for the foreseeable future • “Media situation” should be a broad term encompassing not only Internet access but also mp3 players, cell phone penetration etc.
  9. 9. Creating Effective Content Map their media situation • How do they use it? – Hard data on media usage in your target audiences – Report on the developments of media technologies as a democracy and human rights issue. ITC issues will have a huge impact on the political development in your areas and must not be left to the technocrats.
  10. 10. Creating Effective Content Plan your site • There will be two levels to this. • Internal • External
  11. 11. Creating Effective Content Plan your site • Internal – work flow issues • the relative weight of different media in the publishing process • When is video/sound/slide show/graphics/text appropriate • and who decides? – Routines • how to spread information internally • publishing policies • user-driven content • digital collection of material, video/TV, sound/radio, databases, archiving etc.
  12. 12. Creating Effective Content Plan your site – Advertising issues need to be looked at • What is effective commercial content? • Should you have any? What are the ideological pros and cons? Where is the sustainability? • Who are your strategic partners? • How do you integrate the commercial and the editorial? • packages over all media types, geographic targeting etc.
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  14. 14. Creating Effective Content Plan your site • Have a taxonomy!! – Taxonomy is the practice and science of classification. • This allows for search and delivery across platforms • Database driven journalism and the interactive mash-ups this allows are becoming vital.
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  17. 17. Creating Effective Content Plan • External • what the consumer sees and gets. – This is where you need to gear your site to the technical levels of your audiences. A more (technically) sophisticated audience will want some advanced applications (photo shows, illustrations, podcasts, blogs etc), whereas a less (technically) sophisticated audience will possibly find these extremely annoying. – Differing platforms demand different design. • Mobile delivery and interactivity vital components (see taxonomy) • Judging the correct levels is an ongoing task and as levels of access and sophistication rise the site will have to be tweaked to adapt.
  18. 18. Creating Effective Content Plan • A number of policy and legal issues such as copyright, payment, libel etc. need to be resolved during this process. • Ethics – Should reporters have work and private accounts on Twitter and other social media services? – How do you deal with user information in a public/private sphere? (think ripping images and quotes from facebook etc) • Moderation of interactive sites: – Terms of use (must incl. branded Flickr and YouTube groups etc ) – Creative Commons Licensing (Liverpool Daily Post Flickr Group as an example) – Trusted users
  19. 19. Creating Effective Content Plan • Innovate • Imitate • Replicate • Do not duplicate – Use existing services like You Tube, Flickr, Facebook etc. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. • Remember its not what you do- its how you do it
  20. 20. Creating Effective Content Usability • Style book. Have one! – Cutting edge technology tends to annoy most users except early adopters (nerds). These can be a very useful group in establishing the services in certain areas (cool factor) but remember your core audience(s). – It may also be a good idea to stress that the pecking order is journalism/story building first, fancy technology last.
  21. 21. Creating Effective Content Test it!!! • Get some ordinary users in and see if they can navigate it. • If something is absolutely clear to the designer – (“Only a moron could miss this”) • but gives users a problem – ditch it! (and the designers if they moan too much about it). • Every new addition should be user tested. The damage a non-functioning product can do is huge. • Testing is an iterative process. Every change needs to be tested against your user base
  22. 22. Creating Effective Content Crunch the numbers • Every organization with a web site has a huge database of information on its users. – Where they come from and what search terms they used if they found you in a search engine – what they look at – how long they spend on each piece of information – what sort of bandwidth they have – what sort of computers they have – what web browsers they use – where they go when they leave you. – And more… • This information must be used to see if your target audiences are actually the audiences you reach and to see if you are reaching audiences you did not know about. • A service like Google Analytics can also be invaluable and often your organization will have an account – but you wont know. So find out! • Statistical information of this type is an editorial tool.
  23. 23. Creating Effective Content Crunch the numbers • Do you who holds the data in the org outside of editorial for hits etc... ?
  24. 24. Creating Effective Content • For later discussion – How is social media and story building instead of story telling changing what we see as effective content? – What does it actually mean – to build stories? – How can we really build stories with our communities? – What does this mean for news values? Do we know what news is? What a story is? – How do we know when a story is finished? – How does this change the ideology and self image of journalism?